27 April 2012

New Tricks

The little guy excels at physical things. Today he tried something new on our playground in the backyard. Then the big one did it too.

More on Moses

William Brassey paining Monkey chose for his
Book of Centuries entry on Moses.
We're still working on the Moses lapbook. (More parts of our Moses lapbook are here and here.) It's been a wonderful thing to spend this time studying Moses. This is the most closely I have ever studied the Exodus, and it's a fascinating story. I'm learning and realizing all sorts of new things. For instance, as we were talking about the plagues this morning, I realized how sharply the Lord distinguished between those who believe (even Egyptians-see the hail storm) and those who didn't. And that is comforting, particularly in light of the prophecies of the judgments we can expect in the last days.

 Another cool insight comes from this post, Athletes with Shuffling Feet.  They also have an awesome picture of the sea parting that I'd love to use in my lapbook, but I have no idea what the copyright status is on that, so I'm still looking. {sigh}

We're at the point of looking at the crossing of the Red Sea now, and again, Heart of Wisdom has some great resources. I've already printed out their minibook. I'm also planning to do some with looking at how the parting of the Red Sea is a classic example of how we get revelation. I spent some time studying that a few years ago, as I was spending time looking at Doctrine and Covenants 8:2-3. Jeffrey R. Holland gave a great talk about it in BYU Devotional, called "Cast Not Away Therefore Thy Confidence." One of my favorites. I've come back to that talk several times from a couple of different angles, and now I'm going to share part of it with my Monkey.

From Brother Holland:


Why would the Lord use the example of crossing the Red Sea as the classic example of “the spirit of revelation”? Why didn’t He use the First Vision? Or the example from the book of Moses we just used? Or the vision of the brother of Jared? Well, He could have used any of these, but He didn’t. Here He had another purpose in mind.
Usually we think of revelation as a downpour of information. But this is too narrow a concept of revelation. May I suggest how section 8 broadens our understanding, particularly in light of these “fights of affliction” we have been discussing.


He goes on to identify some thngs we can learn about revelation from the Red Sea crossing:
  1. The process usually starts with a question, often an urgent one.
  2. Fear is destructive. Don't fear. Go forward.
  3. God will help us; trust Him.
We're going to do a minibook for this.

Cut out and fold on the lines to make an accordion book.

Not too long ago, the kids had a lesson on the Sermon on the Mount, and the sister who was teaching did a great job of explaining what it is to "hunger and thirst for righteousness." Since then, that idea has come up several times, and in several ways. Tomorrow, we'll be looking at it from a Christ as the Bread of Life angle as we learn about the manna from heaven. Monkey caught me looking at a relatively complicated idea for a "squash book," and he liked it and wants to do it, so I guess that's what we'll do. I was watching this video clip:






And these are the elements that I came up with for building the book:

Print on cardstock and cut out. Assemble with video's instructions.
 Here is the template for the squashing pages. To do one the size of the video, you'll need 3, though the last one you'll probably want to glue on there upside down, and the "glue area" ought to show where to glue the thing to your lapbook. Also, note that the "glue area" is slightly smaller than half, so it won't show. That also means it can't be used to guide your folds. We'll be printing the cover on cardstock, and the pages on regular printer paper. I do not plan to do the chipboard cover, just glue the over on as-is.

For the inside, this is what we'll be studying:
  • The story of the manna, as outlined in Exodus 16.
  • Christ as the Bread of Life, as outlined in John 6:31-35.  And, actually, a whole lot of this chapter is relevent.
  • How do we "eat" the Bread of Life? (Sacrament, writing the law in our hearts, obedience...)
  • How important is it that we eat? What does comparing the Lord to bread teach us?
Here are some articles that I've enjoyed reading, though it's too much material to give it all to Monkey right now:
Recognizing God's Hand in our Daily Blessings - D. Todd Christopherson
Discourse by George A. Smith
Teaching of Jesus by Dallin H. Oaks

Cut on the black line; fold in half. Write inside.
Finally, this is the last one for today: the story of the battle with Amalek, where Aaron and Hur hold up Moses's hands (Exodus 17). I think that for this one, we'll just tell the story, and I'll follow Monkey's lead as to how far to take it in applying it to our lives. Moses has a lot of cool stories, and I want to tell a bunch of them before we move on, but there'll be plenty of days, when he's a little older, to explore more of the applications for this one, I think.

Incidentally, there are a lot of amazing paintings depicting the events of Moses's life. I found quite a few of them here. I'm thinking that we'll put several into our art books next week. It'll be a nice review of some of the stories.
  

23 April 2012

What's an Accordion?

So, we're working on ourlapbook, and I'm explaining to Monkey, "This is called an accordion book, because it opens like an accordion." And he's nodding, but it's pretty obvious: he has no idea what I'm talking about. Hurray for the internet! Now he knows! And he gets why it's an accordion book. And why those movable walls at church are called accordion doors. Turns out, Dragon likes the accordion music.

22 April 2012

Printable Recipe Cards

Made a pair of recipe cards to share at church; thought I'd share here too. The recipes come from Pinterest. All I did was make it pretty. It should print on a 3x5 card to put in  your recipe box.





21 April 2012

Teaching the Passover

It's been a zoo of a week: everyone is a touch under the weather, and our roof is leaking. (Someone's coming tomorrow to help us figure out a fix for that lovely issue.) I'm hoping tomorrow will have enough room in it to teach Monkey about the Passover, since my history schedule is ambitious, and requires that we start learning other stuff next week. So, tonight I'm trying to gather up some stuff to teach about the Passover. It's interesting. Very interesting. One great thing about teaching is all the cool things I get to learn. For instance:

Heart of Wisdom has this cool .pdf that they've shared. I've actually only read about 8 pages so far, but those first eight pages include a great chart of ways that the Passover lamb symbolizes Christ, as well as some fascinating commentary on symbolism in the plagues. Heat of Wisdom has also shared a little Passover booklet and a nice one for the 10 Plagues that we'll be adding to our lapbook.

I also spent some time browsing around at LDS.org, and they've got some good stuff there. For instance, Passover - Was It Symbolic of His Coming? has some great observations about the phrase, "meridian of time" and other things dealing with time, as well as actual Passover symbolism. Moses and the Passover has a little simpler explanation, which may be better suited to Monkey, though he surprises me often enough with the things he can understand! This coloring sheet from the Friend may be just what we need for the front cover of our book. 

Then, it's back to Heart of Wisdom for another lapbook component, God Leads His People, which deals with the pillar of fire and cloud.

 

18 April 2012

Fun Ditties

I don't love Sesamie Street, but they do have some very cute clips for letters and numbers. Dragon has been showing interest, so we watched a couple of favorites tonight.

Planning History

I'm still working out what exactly I'm going to do with History. We've been taking our time, followed some interests, and lingered in both China and Egypt. It's been very pleasant, but now I'm at th point of needing to decide some things. I'd like to finish the Ancients by the end of September, which leaves me 23 weeks (or so), and 28 lessons, plus some things from Old Testament history that my husband and I have agreed are important and ought to be covered as well. Hence the large lapbook that we are working on as we cover Moses this week and probably next week too.

But, if we are to finish the year in an organized fashion, rather than haphazardly, I need to make some kind of plan.

Week 1: Moses Lapbook part 2 (40 Years' Wandering/Entering the Promised Land)
  • Old Testament Story Book
  • The Bible and Book of Mormon
  • lapbook resources both found and created
  • Book of Centuries entry
  • Museum visit with my sister & her husband (primarily Egyptian exhibits)
Week 2: Israelite History/The Phoenicians
  • SOTW ch 15 w/staind "glass" projects & possibly pita bread
  • OT Stories: Ruth, Samuel, Saul, David, Solomon, & the Temple
  • OT Stories: Elijah & Elisha
  • Book of Centuries entry
Week 3: The Return of Assyria
  • SOTW ch 16
  • Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor
  • OT Stories: Jonah; The Divided Kingdom
  • Jonah  craft from my Pinterest collection
  • 2 Kings 17 (the Assyrian captivity & repopulation of Samiria)
  • Book of Centuries entry
Week 4: Babylon
  • 2 Kings 22-23. Josiah
  •  SOTW ch 17: Babylon Takes Over Again!
  • 2 Kings 24-25. Zedekiah
  • Book of Mormon Stories: Lehi Leaves Jerusalem; Crossing the Sea
  • OT Stories: Daniel
  • Book of Centuries entry
Week 5: Crete and Greece
  • SOTW ch 18: Life in Early Crete
  • Atlantis: the Lost City
  • The Hero and the Minotaur 
  • SOTW ch 19: The Early Greeks
  • D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths
  • BoM Stories: Enos
  • Book of Centires entry
Week 6: Greece
  • SOTW ch 20: Greece Gets Civilized Again
  • The Librarian Who Measured the Earth
  • Black Ships before Troy?
  • D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths
  • Book of Centuries entry
Week 7: Medes & Persians
  • SOTW 21: The Medes & the Persians
  • King Midas and the Golden Touch
  • The Persian Cinderella
  • Cookie map of Mesopotamia from Pinterest
  • OT Stories: Esther
  • Book of Centuries entry
Week 8: Greece
  • SOTW ch 22: Sparta & Athens
  • D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths
  • SOTW ch 23: The Greek Gods
  • An Ancient Greeke Temple
  • The Gods & Goddesses of Olympus
Obviously, there is more to plan, but this is all I can get done right now.
 

Making Memories

When Monkey was a baby and I first read The Well-Trained Mind, I loved Bauer's suggestion that talking to your child will help them to aquire language faster, and thus to read sooner and more easily. Plus, I like talking to my kids, and it was a great excuese to go through the day telling them what's going on. Turns out that sort of parenting probably also helps them develop their memories, and kids that get talked to a lot - especially about the past - remember earlier and more than other kids. Who'da thunk?
 

14 April 2012

Old Testament History: Moses

Seeing as the Old Testament is such a huge part of the gospel, and so much refers back to it, we want to make sure that we do a good job of teaching Old Testament history as we're teaching, which is of particular interest this year while we're covering ancient history. It's important, but it's not simple. Not even close. Dates are a huge headache. Because there's a whole lot of disagreement on basic things like how old the earth is (4 billion years to only a couple thousand), and how long man have been on it (evolution vs creation), and it all gets more interesting from there. Frankly, I don't find the topic of the exact age of the earth all that interesting, but the perfectionist in me NEEDS a date at the top of my timeline.

More to the point, I want to somewhat coordinate the Old Testament stories with the materials in Story of the World 1. So I'm having a look at SOTW, and at the Old Testament chronology in the Bible Dictionary, and at this website that  one of the Moms at the Hive helpfully pointed out. We are currently working on chapter 14: Moses and the Exodus.

SOTW 14: The Israelites Leave Egypt.
Most of our reading from this will actually come from the Old Testament Stories book the church puts out, and the boys like the movie version, so we'll probably watch that too. There are quite a few "chapters" about Moses, but they're short and Monkey loves them, so it's not a problem. We're also still reading miscellaneous bits about Egypt.

We're doing  a lapbook for Moses, because his story is so important and turns up so often. I have several different sites I'm pulling from, saved on Pinterest. I couldn't find anything I liked for some of the events, so I made these. If you use it in your lapbook, I'd love to see a link to a picture in the comments!

Cut along the lines, then attach with a brad at the circles.


Cut on the lines, the connect the pages with a brad.




Glue tabs to make a pocket, then write plagues on the pages.


 

Vaccuming

Pondering Food

A friend posted an interesting article on Facebook the other day, about some of the differences between American and French attitudes toward food. It's made me rethink some of the things I do with our food. There's a number of "thinkers" in there.


French parents teach their children to eat like we teach our kids to read: with love, patience and firm persistence they expose their children to a wide variety of tastes, flavors and textures that are the building blocks of a varied, healthy diet. Pediatrician-recommended first foods for French babies are leek soup, endive, spinach and beets (not bland rice cereal — have you ever tasted that stuff)? They teach their children that “good for you foods” taste good (broccoli – yum!), whereas we often do the opposite.


Differences in first foods, I'm realizing, are substantial around the globe. My pediatrician mentioned a while back that in India, where they have a lot of peanut-based foods, peanuts are often among the first things a baby is given. He said that the recent research he'd been reading is finding that giving foods sooner offers some protection against allergies, rather than the previous thinking. (Though he wasn't comfortable with giving peanuts to little ones here.) I hadn't really considered it beyond that. But the idea that first foods might influence pickyness is an interesting one. And makes some sense. The "simple" foods, the "kid-friendly" foods are often not very flavorful, and if that's what's familiar, then it's seems logical that rejecting strong flavors would follow.

Here's another interesting idea: variety.


 To introduce kids to a wide variety of foods, no dish can be repeated more than once per month. Food for thought.


I realize that this is a good idea, but I'm realizing that our variety has shrunk down to the point that it hardly qualifies. So, I'm having a look at my recipe collection, and looking for new recipes. Ones that use the familiar ingredients and also some that use some less familiar foods. It'll be good for us all. Maybe I'll have a look at my Japanese cookbook again and see if I can come up with some foods from there. It also occurs to me that I make a 2 week menu, and I can pretty easily make sure that meals from the old menu are not repeated on the new one when I make them. That would give me about a month rotation on my meals. I'll need some more recipes to do that, but that's OK: I like looking at food. Pinterest is a great place for doing that!

I'm not sure that I'm ready to give up snacking yet, but more and more I think that may be key to the weightloss I've been struggling to make happen. I'm thinking about it. But I think I'll make the other changes first and then ponder snacking more seriously.

Here are some of the new recipes that look tasty this afternoon. What are some of your favorites?

Dinner in a Skillet (TONS of variations)
Italian Sausage Skillet Dinner (new ingredient = italian sausage)
Chicken Skillet Dinner (unusual ingredient = mushrooms)



02 April 2012

Book Review: Be the People

So, I heard about BookSneeze a while back - quite a while, actually, and I thought, "Free books for reviews?! I can do that!" So I sent away for my first book. I chose this one:

Be the People is broken into two parts:  Part one lays out some of the threats to freedom, as well as some of the quiet losses of freedom we face in America today. Part two is a call to action in several different areas.

I'd have to say that my feelings about the book are decidedly mixed. For much of the book, I was right there, agreeing with the author, but her chapter on race really turned me off. So much so that I put the book down and couldn't bring myself to return and finish it for months. Had I not given my word to read it completely before writing my review, I would not have finished it. However, the first two-thirds of the book have a lot to recommend them. I agree wholeheartedly with the author's call for America to return to her roots, and to invite our people to return to patriotic virtue and personal responsibility. I just think that when she started talking about race she started talking out of both sides of her mouth, which made that portion of the book a very difficult read. The book also has a number of appendices, which is always useful. She's included the Ten Commandments, the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Having them right there, rather than hunting through my messy desk to find them was very convenient.

I review for BookSneeze®

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